British Rail Class 322

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

British Rail Class 322
322485 Leeds.jpg
Arriva Rail North 322485 at Leeds in June 2018
In service1990–present[1]
ManufacturerBritish Rail Engineering Limited
Built atHolgate Road carriage works
Family nameBR Second Generation (Mark 3)
ReplacedClass 305
Hunslet-Barclay, Kilmarnock
Number built5 sets[1]
SuccessorClass 331
Formation4 cars per set (DTSL-MS-TSL-DTS)[1]
Fleet numbers322481 - 322485
Capacity309 seats per set[2]
Operator(s)Greater Anglia
Car length19.95 m (65 ft 5+38 in)
Width2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)[3]
Height3.78 m (12 ft 4+78 in)[3]
Maximum speed100 mph (161 km/h)[1]
Weight141.8 t (139.6 long tons)[3]
Acceleration0.55 m/s/s (2.0 km/(h⋅s); 1.2 mph/s)[1]
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead[1]
Current collection methodPantograph
Braking system(s)Air (Westcode)
Safety system(s)AWS
Coupling system
Multiple workingClasses 317-322; Class 323 (rescuing a Class 323 only)[4]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 322 electric multiple units were built by British Rail Engineering Limited in 1990 for the Stansted Express service from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport. After becoming surplus to requirements on this route, the fleet saw further use with a number of other operators.


The original interior of a Stansted Express Class 322

In 1987 British Rail (BR) was extending electrification north from London Liverpool Street towards Cambridge. Included in this plan was the construction of new branch line, diverging from the main line at Stansted Mountfitchet, to serve the newly built Stansted Airport station, which opened in 1991. BR decided to build a dedicated fleet of units to work a new service, the Stansted Express.[5][6]

The Class 322 units were built to the same basic design as the Class 321 units, which were still under construction for services on the Great Eastern Main Line and West Coast Main Line, but with a larger First Class area in the DTCO resulting in a different window arrangement.[7] Although the Stansted route fell under the jurisdiction of Network SouthEast (NSE), the units were delivered into service in a special white livery with a broad green band, instead of the more usual NSE blue/red/white livery.

Five 4-car units were built, numbered 322481–485. Each unit consisted of two outer driving trailers, an intermediate trailer and an intermediate motor coach. The technical description of the formation of each unit is DTCO+TSO+MSO+DTSO. Individual vehicles are numbered as follows:

  • 78163–78167 – DTCO
  • 72023–72027 – TSO
  • 63137–63141 – MSO
  • 77985–77989 – DTSO

Originally the units had a lower density 2+2 seating arrangement in Standard Class appropriate to their use on airport traffic, but during their C6X refurbishment in 2005-2007 the DTCO was changed to DTSO and all seating was changed to 3+2 with a cycle rack fitted in the DTSO(A). The changed DTCO was designated DTSO(A) and the units were reformed as DTCO(B)-TSO-MSO-DTCO(A), and operation in Scotland was in this form until 2011. On transfer away from Scotland the bike racks were removed and replaced by First Class 2+1 seating, but this was subsequently changed to 3+2 standard class seating in 2015, the DTSO(A) also gaining an accessible toilet.[7]

The units were the last of a long line of BR multiple units to be based on the Mark 3 bodyshell design.

Current operations[edit]

Greater Anglia[edit]

In July 2020 all were leased to Greater Anglia to operate services out of London Liverpool Street on the Great Eastern Main Line. They were leased to allow Class 360s to move to East Midlands Railway. All are scheduled to be replaced by Class 720s in 2021.[8][9]

Former operations[edit]

Network SouthEast[edit]

322484 in original livery at Stansted Airport

On introduction in 1990 the Class 322s were painted in a joint livery for Network SouthEast (NSE) and British Airports Authority consisting of a light grey and white body with green waist band lettered "Stansted Express" on one side and "Network SouthEast" on the other. Until opening of the Stansted Airport spur the units worked peak-hour services between Cambridge and Liverpool Street, but also found use on special trains wandering as far afield and York and Colchester.[7]

West Anglia Great Northern[edit]

In the lead up to the privatisation of British Rail, in 1994 all were sold to Eversholt Rail Group.[10] All passed with the franchise to West Anglia Great Northern in January 1997. Having been replaced by Class 317s on Stansted services, they were used indiscriminately as part of the general fleet and would operate on other WAGN services including on the East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross to Peterborough.

Sub-leasing from WAGN[edit]

In 1998 two Class 322 units were sub-leased to North Western Trains to operate a service between Euston and Manchester Airport[11] but the service was discontinued after a year and the units were returned to WAGN.[12][13] From 1998 units were also occasionally sub-let to Silverlink and used on services between Euston and Birmingham and to Anglia Railways to cover for late delivery of units for London Liverpool Street to Norwich services.[7]


In December 2001, all were transferred to fellow National Express franchise ScotRail to replace the slam-door Class 305s on the North Berwick Line. To facilitate their movement to Glasgow Shields Road TMD, they also operated limited services to Glasgow Central via the Carstairs line.[14][15]


On the instructions of the Strategic Rail Authority, all returned to WAGN in March 2004 in preparation for the takeover of the franchise by One.[16][17] Under One, the Class 322s were using in a common pool with the Class 321s.[7]

First ScotRail[edit]

First ScotRail 322485 at Edinburgh Waverley in October 2007

Having been deemed surplus by One, in July 2005 all returned to Scotland to operate with First ScotRail on the North Berwick Line,[18][19] while also being used on peak services to Glasgow and Carstairs.[7] To provide cover while its Class 321s were overhauled, 322484 was hired to Northern Rail to operate Doncaster to Leeds services.[20] In 2006/07, all were refurbished by Hunslet-Barclay, Kilmarnock with capacity increased from 252 to 293.[21][22]


Having been superseded by Class 380s, all were transferred to Northern Rail in July and August 2011.[23][24] Based at Neville Hill TMD, they operated services from Leeds to Doncaster, Bradford Forster Square, Skipton and Ilkley. Having passed with the franchise to Arriva Rail North and Northern Trains, all were replaced by Class 331s with the last withdrawn in May 2020.[25][26]

Fleet details[edit]

Unit Number Current Livery Vehicle Numbers Current Operator
322481 Northern Rail blue 78163 72023 63137 77985 Greater Anglia
322482 78164 72024 63138 77986
322483 78165 72025 63139 77987
322484 78166 72026 63140 77988
322485 78167 72027 63141 77989

Class 321 & 322 GA


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Class 322". Eversholt Rail. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  2. ^ "THE NORTHERN INTERIM FRANCHISE AGREEMENT" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Class 322 Technical data". TheRailwayCentre.Com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Class 323 Drivers Manual" (PDF). ttweb. Northern Rail. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  5. ^ New line for Stansted makes progress Rail issue 78 March 1988 page 15
  6. ^ BREL EMU orders The Railway Magazine issue 1051 November 1988 page 687
  7. ^ a b c d e f Sherlock, Greg (July 2015). "The Class 320s and their successors". Today's Railways UK. No. 163. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. pp. 55–57.
  8. ^ Stored stock makes way for deliveries of new vehicles Rail issue 904 6 May 2020 page 25
  9. ^ All GA 755s in passenger service Rail issue 911 12 August 2020 page 29
  10. ^ 25 Years of ROSCOs Rail Express issue 281 October 2019 page 20
  11. ^ NWT livery for Class 322 Stansted units Rail issue 329 22 April 1998 page 12
  12. ^ FNW cuts Euston-Manchester service Rail issue 355 21 April 1999 page 13
  13. ^ First North Western to axe Manchester-London service The Railway Magazine issue 1178 June 1999 page 9
  14. ^ ScotRail shuffles units as ex-Stansted 322s arrive Rail issue 427 23 January 2002 page 58
  15. ^ Full 322 North Berwick service Rail issue 437 12 June 2002 page 10
  16. ^ ScotRail's 322s to return south Rail issue 468 20 August 2003 page 9
  17. ^ Class 322s return south Entrain issue 31 July 2004 page 25
  18. ^ Class 322s return north Rail issue 519 3 August 2005 page 28
  19. ^ 322s return to Scotland The Railway Magazine issue 1253 September 2005 page 71
  20. ^ 322 for Leeds-Doncaster Entrain issue 45 September 2005 page 59
  21. ^ First Class 322 is overhauled Rail issue 538 26 April 2006 page 25
  22. ^ Final 322 Outshopped Rail issue 560 28 February 2007 page 50
  23. ^ Class 322 moves south to Northern Rail issue 675 27 July 2011 page 26
  24. ^ ScotRail Class 322s bow out Today's Railways UK issue 118 October 2011 page 66
  25. ^ "Moving In, Moving on, Moving Out". The Railway Magazine. No. 1404. March 2018. p. 41.
  26. ^ "Northern finishes with Dusty Bins". Railways Illustrated. No. July 2020. p. 16.

External links[edit]

Media related to British Rail Class 322 at Wikimedia Commons